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MILWAUKEE -- Steve Nash is still experiencing nerve discomfort in his back and right hamstring and will not play during the Los Angeles Lakers' two-game trip to Milwaukee and Minnesota, the 18-year veteran said after shootaround Thursday.
"Probably next week," said Nash, who has missed the Lakers' last two games after tweaking his hamstring late in L.A.'s 117-107 loss to the Washington Wizards last week.
|Steve Nash has targeted "probably next week" for his return. Nerve discomfort in his back and right hamstring will force him to miss the next two games.|
The Wizards game was the first on-court action in more than five weeks for Nash, who had previously been considered finished for the season but ramped up his rehabilitation in order to help a team that was down to one healthy point guard in Kendall Marshall.
Nash, 40, is averaging 7.4 points and 5.3 assists while shooting 36.7 percent from the floor in 11 games this season.
Nash joked his motivation to return next week is to beat Jordan Farmar back to the lineup, because once Farmar is over his strained right groin, there won't be any playing time left for the two-time league MVP.
Farmar has missed the last four games after injuring his groin in practice last week. He is expected to be sidelined at least another week before being re-evaluated.
"He just hasn't been able to stay healthy," coach Mike D'Antoni said of Farmar, who has played in just 36 of the Lakers' 70 games this season. "I'm sure it's frustrating to him, but he has played well. I think he established what he wanted to."
L.A. won't only be thin at point guard on Thursday. The Lakers are also undermanned in the middle.
Pau Gasol is not with the team because he is still experiencing symptoms stemming from his bout with vertigo, and Chris Kaman also did not travel on the team charter Wednesday because of personal reasons. Kaman plans to fly to Milwaukee on Thursday afternoon, but D'Antoni said he will start Jordan Hill and Ryan Kelly in the front court.
The Lakers come into the Bucks game having won two games in a row, while Milwaukee has the worst record in the league at 13-58 and announced Thursday that Ersan Ilyasova (ankle) is expected to miss the rest of the season. The unexpected win streak may have hurt the Lakers' lottery positioning for the draft in June, but D'Antoni said that is the last thing on his team's mind.
"We don't want to get into that one," D'Antoni said. "It's not fair to these guys to even think about that. We're trying to win every game we can and put these guys in a great spot to get better. ... Why not just do the best job that we can do and then wherever it falls, it falls?"